Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by K3BEQ, Jan 3, 2019.

ad: L-HROutlet
ad: l-rl
ad: Left-2
ad: L-MFJ
ad: MessiPaoloni-1
ad: Subscribe
ad: Left-3
ad: K5AB-Elect-1
  1. K3BEQ

    K3BEQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    For a long time the growth of the Amateur Radio Service has been, I believe, a very thin 1%. One may argue that giving technicians more frequencies will attract more people to the Service as well as encouraging existing Technicians to upgrade and be more active. Fair enough, however:

    Technicians statistically have not upgraded despite the opportunity to do so over many years. (See stats at end of article). It seems to me that giving them more frequencies without testing encourages stagnation not the opposite. Simply said it is a "handout" and "handouts" suppress advancement. for the most part. Why reward lack of effort? It also sends the wrong message to those Amateurs who studied and sat for examinations..

    Sadly, it seems that the Service is slowly terminating itself. That 1% growth is a stinging testimonial that despite all efforts to water down examinations, do away with Morse code requirements, open certain frequencies, encouraging participation in emergency communications and countless hours and funds in an attempt to attract new growth, it has not worked.

    Another factor are Amateurs who are inactive. I have read that it could be as high as 25%. Club memberships are down, EMC's are struggling for operators, most hamfests now end around noon and the list of Silent Keys each month in QST grows longer and longer.

    The present generation of non-hams grew up in a world full of computers, internet, data fones and associated equipment; just the opposite of most of today's graying amateurs who had none of those except amateur radio. And that was a fascinating attraction. How then, can we expect the new generation to be attracted to the amateur community when they are already surrounded and engaged with other state of the art communications? Go to any restaurant, shopping mall, and even the streets and most will have their heads down working their data fones.

    It's a sticky problem and I applaud the ARRL for attempting to correct it. Give-a way is not the answer but we can ask for commitment, high expectations, and mentor only those who show the willingness and have the ability to be a long term contributor to the future of amateur radio.

    Just my opinion. What is yours?

    73 Murray K3BEQ

    Data from FCC Public Data Files January 1 2019, end of 2016 and end of 2014 as reported on the Arrl Web page:

    Stats for Technicians

    January 1, 2019 384,191 (approx. 49% of U.S. Amateur population.
    End of 2016 371,560 (approx. 50% of U.S. Amateur population.

    End of 2014 357,236 (approx. 49% of U.S. Amateur populations

    K3BR and NY7Q like this.
  2. VK4HAT

    VK4HAT XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Let me get the popcorn. This will be epic.
    KC1DR, KF5RRF, KA4DPO and 10 others like this.
  3. KK4CUL

    KK4CUL Ham Member QRZ Page

    ^^^ Yup -- another thread about expanding tech privileges. The opinions and arguments about it are sort of contradicting:
    1. You've got the crowd that is lamenting the dropping number of hams getting licensed and/or are active.
    2. You've got people upset that it is so easy to get licensed, IE no code requirements at all, the tech exam is too easy, the general is too easy, etc. This complaint runs into "new hams don't know how to be a respectable op / bunch of CBers taking over the airwaves.
    3. Then you have the crowd that says "more hams are better to keep the hobby alive and/ or continue innovating"
    4. And the people who complain about repeaters not being used. More techs would increase this, right?
    On one hand, I would be a little upset that getting HF privileges would be so easy for new techs since I did have to pass two exams (still was not difficult). But on the other, I don't want to sound like the "Get off my lawn -- I had to learn 25 WPM and build my own separate transmitter and receiver!" guy..
    WU8Y and VK4HAT like this.
  4. W2AI

    W2AI QRZ Lifetime Member #240 Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    I don't believe it's a matter for Technician Class licensees to upgrade but a shift in amateur radio over the past 50 years from an HF oriented hobby to a VHF/UHF one. Not every newly licensed amateur has the ability or the desire to operate HF. There are many limitations that prevent hams from operating HF: cost of radio equipment, properties with CC&Rs attached that prohibit or restrict the erection of outside antennas, more skill and knowledge required. There are Technicians licensed prior to March 1987 who passed a 5 wpm code test and old written element 3 [same as General Class]. These pre-1987 Technicians were (and still are) eligible for an immediate upgrade to General Class with NO further examination. Yet, many of them haven't done so but still renew their "paper" licenses. It is doubtful they are active hams.

    IMHO, the number of inactive U.S. radio amateurs far exceeds the 25% level. I would guess at least 80 to 90% of the total U.S. amateur radio licensees are inactive. Do you recall 50 years ago when the HF phone bands were literally wall-to-wall signals at night and on the weekends?? Today, it's mostly hams in the over age 50 crowd on HF and their numbers are declining. Even if ALL Technicians were automatically upgraded to General Class without further examination--you still would not see any increase in HF activity.
    NY7Q, NL7W and W7UUU like this.
  5. W7UUU

    W7UUU QRZ Lifetime Member #133 Administrator Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    I could absolutely swear we've had a thread on this before ... :rolleyes:;)

    Maybe this one will end better...

    KC1DR, N3AWS, KK4NSF and 18 others like this.
  6. W4IOA

    W4IOA Ham Member QRZ Page

    It will do nothing to grow radio.
    Techs are coming into AR at a pretty good clip now. The ARRL isn't getting them because they aren't interested. The majority of techs I have met and even those that that upgrade aren't interested in hf, they've bought into emcomm, ARES, RACES, off-roading and such. But we already know this.
    It's a pastime for people who have free time, spare money, and own homes.
    Homeownership isn't first in the millennial mindset, neither is fighting QRM and propagation since they can simply use modern technology like cell phones and Skype. Amateur radio has reached it's zenith, I'm not saying it's going to die but it really needs to be rightsized to maintain any integrity.
    NY7Q, K8BZ, WD4IGX and 1 other person like this.
  7. KC4YLV

    KC4YLV Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yep. It's surely DYING.
    can somebody play taps
    AA4MY, N8ZL, KC8YLT and 4 others like this.
  8. VK4HAT

    VK4HAT XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    If i was a gambling man, I would put $100 on No.
    KB2FCV, K4AGO, K7MH and 4 others like this.
  9. 2E0CIT

    2E0CIT Ham Member QRZ Page

    Here in the UK we are allowed to use just about all of the amateur bands right from the time we get our first licence, -albeit at restricted power levels.
    As a new ham it was HF that stimulated my interest in the hobby.I would likely have got bored and lost interest had I been restricted to using a VHF UHF FM or similar rig that offered little opportunity for DX.
    73 Jeff
    KM4YWO, KC9GLD, WU8Y and 1 other person like this.
  10. VK4HAT

    VK4HAT XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I would not be. Spinning this argument to a VK bent, our license conditions sunset later this year and need to be remade. A lot of hot air has been wasted on weather fcalls (tech) should get homebrewing TX, more power, 50w, more bands, 20m and more modes, digital. And if they do great. Its no skin off my nose. In fact I think they should have those things. An introductory license should be just that, an introduction. And introduction to ALL facets of the hobby and as it stands at the moment, they cannot try lots of things for seemingly arbitrary reasons. I do hope that changes.
    AJ6BO, WU8Y and N6TDG like this.

Share This Page